Listening environment has nothing to do with getting good at producing....
Originally posted by Samplecraze
Before you spand any more on nice gear, think about the listening environment.
Sort your room's acoustics out first, then monitors and then get heavy with gear lust.
Woolie, there are a million different things you could get but my advice is to stick with what you have and master it like Kontakt80 said. If you absolutely feel the need to have hardware then you gotta decide what kind of producer are you???? Are you a chopped up sample producer(Pete Rock/Kanye & everyone else in between) or are you more of a melody from scratch type of producer(Scott Storch, DarkChild, Neptunes, etc) You don't have to be one or the other but just decide which one you favor right now.
If you are more of a chopping samples type dude i'd grab a MPC(the 1000 seems to be the best bang for the buck b/c of the low cost yet modern OS) Then grab a rack like EMU Proteus so you can have a few extra keyboard, synth, bass, & guitar sounds. I hear the Roland MV-8000 is nice but I haven't had much experience with it and they are more in the price range of the MPC 2500 & 4000.
If you are more of a keyboard dude you gotta go test out the boards out there. Obviously you'll hear about the the big 3(Triton, Motif, Fantom). Just check out which one suits you the best b/c people will argue forever about which one is best. I like the sampler on the Fantom X the best of the 3 and i'd suggest the Fantom X or Motif ES but thats just my opinion, not the law)
Grab some basic monitors like Berhinger Truths, KRK 8, M-Audio Bx5.....and some good headphones like Senheiser HD280 for them nights you can't bang out on the speakers. Its important not to get too much gear at one time b/c it will be harder to focus on learning one piece in and out!
Oh yea SampleCraze....I am totally for having a proper acoustic environment and good monitors but I think its more important to be learn how to make good beats first. That was not a shot at you by any means dude!
DJ Curve's Equipment:
Roland Fantom-S MPC 4000
Yamaha Motif 6 Sonar 4.0
Emu Proteus 2000 Reason 3.0